Disallowed tries come back to haunt Centurions after cruel defeat to Brentwood

St Albans Centurions' untouchables; Scott Cluelow, Joe Shaw and Jake Lawrence. Picture: Darryl Brown

St Albans Centurions' untouchables; Scott Cluelow, Joe Shaw and Jake Lawrence. Picture: Darryl Brown - Credit: Archant

St Albans Centurions were left to rue two disallowed tries as they fell to a narrow 22-20 defeat at home to Brentwood Eels.

Both scores were ruled out for the same reason, the referee deciding that the players had already been tackled before they reached the floor.

And the Cents despondency at the decisions was increased in the final minute when the match-winning try from Brentwood’s only real play-maker was allowed despite it looking to many that he had been bundled into touch before grounding the ball.

But those decisions at a baking hot Toulmin Drive should not mask what was a below-par performance from St Albans who should have been out of sight well before the Eels winner.

Coach Simba Mupamhanga was left scratching his head after the game.

He said: “The game plan was simple enough; complete our sets so they’re only ever attacking from deep.

“But in the second-half we completed only 50 per cent of them. Too many times, a killer pass was attempted when the better option was to take the tackle.

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“We kept handing them the momentum and lost a match we should have cruised.”

But amidst the gloom there were, nevertheless, some very bright performances.

Jake Lawrence again stamped his mark on the game with another try and a returning Ryan Shorter showed why he’s been missed with a try of his own to cap a powerful performance.

There should also be more than an honourable mention for Callum Porter and Liam Meredith who dominated the tackle count, making 33 between them and missing none.

And despite the stuttering team performance, Scott Cluelow and Joe Shaw’s legitimate second-half tries seemed to have won it for the Cents only for the heart-break of Eels’ last-minute winner.

But a chance for revenge comes quickly when the Centurions travel to the Eels for an East League Cup game on Saturday.

There was better news though for the club’s U14 side as they picked up a draw with Colchester-based Eastern Rhinos in a match played at London Broncos.

They play rivals Hemel on Saturday, kick-off 11am.